Can an abusive husband reporta car stolen if his wife tries to leave him?

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Can an abusive husband reporta car stolen if his wife tries to leave him?

My friend has finally had enough of her husband’s abuse. She packed up the kids and left to stay with her family in Houston. While she was gone, he reported the truck as stolen. Can he do this, even if both their names are on the title? She called me after she crossed the Texas border, and now she’s worried she’ll be arrested. What should she do? She’s never made a formal police report against him, but there are enough witnesses willing to testify against him. She recently appealed to his chain of command, but they refused to help her. He’s also active duty army.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Kentucky

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Anyone can contact law enforecement and report an alleged crime. Whether the reported incident to law enforcement warrants further investigation or criminal charges filed by the district attorneys office is a different matter.

If registered title to the vehicle taken by your friend was in her name, she had every right to take the vehicle with the children for her and their protection. Even if registered title was not in the friend's name, but it is an asset of the current marriage of her and her husband, then she would likewise be entitles to take the vehicle from a legal perspective.

If she is stopped by law enforcement while driving the vehicle at issue, most likely the police will pull the registered owner(s) of it. If her name is on it and she proves who she is on her driver's license, then law enforcement should not make an arrest for the alleged theft of the truck.


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